Motherlode of crude remains at giant Stabroek block: analysts say resources will balloon

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Analysts across the oil and gas industry agree that even with the massive volumes of hydrocarbon found so far at the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block, explorers have only scratched the surface and that mega resources are yet to be discovered by ExxonMobil and co-venturers Hess and CNOOC.

Speaking to OilNOW this week at the International Energy Conference, Schreiner Parker, Rystad Energy’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean said the Guyana basin is by far “the hottest exploration basin in the word” and major discoveries are expected to continue.

Exxon has made around 28 discoveries since 2015 at the Stabroek Block, including its most recent success at Fangtooth-1 and Lau Lau-1 announced just last month.

“If we look at the 2022 discovered reserves volumes, Lau Lau we are estimating at 443 million barrels and Fangtooth…230 million barrels,” Parker said, pointing out that in any other country on earth these would be “player makers” but they are now par for the course in Guyana.

While the U.S. oil major has pegged the discovered resources at around 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent so far, analyst say this is much higher, with a lot more to come.

“When you add the volumes from Lau Lau and Fangtooth, we are looking at significantly north of 10 billion…I think we can expect that number to grow significantly during the course of this year and next year as you have more exploration successes,” Parker said.

Meanwhile, Americas Market Intelligence analyst Arthur Deakin said the latest estimate for the Stabroek Block is well over 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources.

“We expect it to be more than 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent. And I think it is also very important to consider the amount of gas that has been discovered. So, there’s been mention of 16 trillion cubic feet or at least 20 percent of the resource at Stabroek Block being gas. That’s tremendous,” Deakin told OilNOW.

Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice President at IHS Markit said the total resources is significantly high with much room for further increases.

“You have heard the 10 billion basin number, but we estimate currently that’s it in excess of 13.5 billion barrels oil equivalent with another yet to find potential 9.3 billion of oil equivalent remaining,” he said. “That makes the ultimate recovery total something like 23 billion of oil recovery and we believe this number is set to raise as more plays and sub-plays are tested.”


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